Based on the AAA’s 2015 Your Driving Costs, it will cost you an annual average of $8,690 to own and operate a car. This includes the cost for maintenance, fuel, tires, taxes, auto insurance, depreciation, license and registration, and finance charges, but excludes the cost of storage or parking of your car at a meter.
You can spend up to $7,606 yearly on even a small car like Ford Focus or Honda Civic, while about $11,931 annually is required for large vehicles such as a Jeep Grand Cherokee or a Ford Explorer.
Everyone is looking for an affordable place to live to cut the cost of living. Just the cost of owning and operating a car can be more expensive than the monthly food costs of a household of 4 members while operating two vehicles in a family can exceed the cost of the average mortgage payment in the country.
Here, we discuss our top 10 cities where you can live easily without the need to own a car.
Which Cities can you live without a Car?
1. New York City, NY
Each of the five boroughs of NY is just about 10 minutes walking from the nearest subway station, and those subways are available 24-hours a day.
This may be why the majority (in fact, the largest population in the country) of households in New York City don’t own a car. New York City is also ranked first in the country’s walkability and access to public transit.
2. Minneapolis, MN
People living in Minneapolis will still walk around the town regardless of the cold weather. The Minneapolis Skyway in the city links eighty city blocks in an enclosed walkways system, which allows the residents to walk to and fro shops, work, bars, restaurants, and other local areas.
There is much public transportation in Minneapolis, which includes a bike-sharing program and a common public transport system, in which all of it makes a living without a car easier.
3. Washington, D.C.
This is the country’s capital and maybe somehow compact unlike some cities listed here.However, it competes with them with its fast transit system, the metro, which extends to Virginia and Maryland and is the only behind New York City in the list of the nation’s busiest.
Washington sits on the 7th position on the list of walkable cities by Walk Score and scores higher in public transit access. Among the walkable neighborhoods are the U Street and Dupont Circle.
4. Boston, MA
There are enough walkable roads and paths friendly to bikes that you can enjoy in Boston. Those living in Boston will find most neighborhoods generally walkable with the availability of many pedestrian crosswalks. MBTA, also called “the T” and is one of the public transportation options in the city, and it operates throughout the city.
5. Miami, FL
The exceptionally sunny weather in Miami makes walking and biking outdoors possible all through the year. Those who don’t own a car also have many options with affordable public transit options, including the Metromover, Metrorail, and Metrobus.
Trolley service is also available in the city, which moves residents around various routes within Miami. Locals can also choose from scooter rentals, ride-sharing programs, as well as bike rentals.
6. Chicago, IL
The mass transit system in Chicago ranked third in the list of busiest in the country, and the city’s Transit Authority’s network of increased fast-transit lines, bus system, and commuter rail can take you around the city and across the state lines.
You can walk and bike in the city. Walk Score has identified Near North Side, East Ukrainian Village, and West Loop as the neighborhoods with most friendliness for pedestrians.
7. Portland, OR
This is one of the country’s cities that is bike-friendly, and it has a lot of wide and safe bike lanes and paths for bike lovers. TriMet is the city’s public transit system, and it also provides bus, commuter train, and light rail services to residents across the city.
Another popular means of transport in Portland is the Portland Streetcar, which is available for people living and working in the downtown area.
8. Philadelphia, PA
Rate of vehicle ownership and an established wide network of public transit in Philadelphia, similar to other cities on the East Coast, are very small. Public transit is provided by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), from commuter rails to buses to trolleys and subways in the city.
Still, the city of Philadelphia is one of the pedestrian-friendly cities in the United States, Center City West, Avenue of the Arts South, as well as Rittenhouse Square are some of the most walkable neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
9. Baltimore, MA
Public transport choices in Baltimore are more limited than closer Washington, D.C., but are still positioned among the top cities in the United States for movement. You can move across the city through the Charm City Circulator, a bus that moves around every ten minutes all through the day, 7 days a week, and transports about 4 million people annually.
The amazing aspect is that it is free. Baltimore is only seen as a relatively walkable place by Walk Score. Around 8% of commuters in Baltimore go around on foot or by bike, with downtown and Mount Vernon being the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
10. Seattle, WA
Living without a car in Seattle is more than possible; this is made possible by the public transportation options in the city. The King County Metro Transit in Seattle provides bus light rail services across downtown Seattle and the nearest suburbs.
The pedestrian-friendly streets in Seattle make it a great walkable city. Other popular means of getting around in Seattle include ride-sharing services, Seattle Center Monorail, ferries, and so on.
Benefits of Living without a Car
There are other benefits to living without a car, aside from being able to save much money. These include:
- Less Environmental Pollution: The major cause of air pollution, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is automobiles’ operation. Pollution is caused by the combustion process and gives hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. According to the EPA, carbon dioxide is considered the major contributor to greenhouse gas to previous climate change. Also, automobiles are the primary causes of acid rain and smog.
- Increased personal safety: There are about 11 million automobile accidents annually as contained in United States Census data. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this causes over 30,000 deaths, 2.3 million injuries, and almost $1 trillion lion costs of productivity and death, as reported by the NHTSA. The chance of being dead or injured by cars gets reduced when you don’t own a car because pedestrian deaths are not so popular compared to the death of passengers or car drivers.
- Better Health: People are able to increase their walking time and distance daily when going to and fro shopping or work when they don’t own a car. The American Heart Association recommends daily working to the Arthritis Foundation as a vital key to long period health. The advantages can include longer life, reduced risk to Alzheimer’s, better sleep, and weight loss.
- Less Stress: According to research done by an automaker Audi and Sensible City Lab at MIT on driving, they figured out that the level of stress involved in driving in city traffic and skydiving from an airplane was the first time the same. According to one of the project leaders, “some driving circumstances can be one of the most stressful activities we experienced in our lives”.
Ready to move?
Make you research more these cities to discover more about the place you are moving to. You will find the city demographics, factors that affect quality of life, real estate information, and many more online. If you have it in a plan to relocate to one of these cities, you may want to consider hiring long distance movers to handle your move.
Fortunately, the wide network of reliable, reputable, and trustworthy moving companies on our list can easily get the job done. All the moving companies you will see in our comprehensive network are licensed and insured to serve you better with no fear of being liable in case anything goes wrong. Have a great relocation!